Peugeot 407 ST HDi Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services

21 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Peugeot 407 ST HDi Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services
Peugeot 407

Peugeot 407

ST HDi Car Review

With many European car makers deciding to introduce diesel versions of their new luxury models into Australia, it would seem a logical step for Peugeot to do the same – given that they have been at the forefront in the latest thinking in diesel design and innovation for many years.

Value for money

Pricing for the new 407 range starts at $42,790 for the 407 ST four-cylinder petrol engine manual. The automatic version is a $2,200 option. The 407 ST HDi diesels slip in between the entry model and the three litre V6 407 SV petrol. Prices start at $45,990 for the manual ST Diesel version.

The Executive ST HDi tested is priced at $49,490 for the manual. A diesel touring version is available (auto only], and also slots in between the four and six-cylinder configurations price-wise. The HDi Diesel retails for $51,190.

Peugeot lay claim to the 407 range boasting one of the highest levels of standard features in its class, and although the diesel Executive version comes in $6500 cheaper than the three litre SV its specification level is still high.

The HDi Diesel misses out on the nine setting electronically variable suspension, xenon headlamps, the high end audio system and some interior detail has also changed.

Climate control airconditioning with vents to the rear seats, power external mirrors that are heated, cruise control, remote central locking, electric windows, all with one touch operation, electric and heated seats, park distance control and retractable side and rear sunscreens are just some of standard inclusions on the diesel version tested.

Design function

Because the 407 HDi shares the same body as its petrol engine cousins, interior space is the same. The 407 provides plenty of interior room and also features a decent sized boot. The rear seats can be folded down and if the seat bases are removed, (a simple operation), it gives an almost flat cargo area that measures 1600mm.

A ski hatch is also provided and a cargo net is there to secure luggage.

When loading luggage into the 407 you need to be careful to avoid scratching the top edge of the rear bumper, as the bar is slightly higher than the load lip. Door pockets are reasonably sized; there are two map pockets on the rear of the front seats. There is a small binnacle for items in the centre of the dash.

It’s very shallow and items like sunglasses fall out under acceleration. Sun blinds are fitted on the rear doors as well as the rear screen.

Trimmed in leather, the heated power front seats provide good comfort. The seat base and backrest are soft enough, yet designed in a way that help keep the driver in place along twisting roads. The steering wheel is adjustable for height and reach.

The rear seat is well shaped and the rear leg room is adequate even when the front seat is adjusted back for taller drivers.

Ergonomics

The driving position for the manual HDi was excellent; clutch and gear lever operation was simple and straightforward. Peugeot has built a great-to-use manual transmission that is light and precise. No need to think that because it’s a diesel you need a heavy-to-operate truck-like clutch to handle the torque.

As with the gear change the clutch operation is commendably light.

Peugeot’s steering column switchgear has been often talked about when reviewing their range of vehicles. The new 407 carries over the same four stalks around the leather bound steering wheel as with earlier models. It’s a collection of oddly shaped paddles and rotary switches for audio, cruise control, wipers and lights.

Jumping in and driving the 407 for the first time they can all be somewhat confusing and it takes a while behind the wheel to really get used to their operation. The controls for the heating and ventilation have a display in the centre of the dash to indicate the mode set.

At first glance they all appear the same and it’s difficult to distinguish the different functions. The long raking front windscreen pillar, which sometimes can restrict vision on other vehicles, was not an issue for the 407. Forward vision was unobstructed, although the long sloping bonnet and large frontal overhang is a reminder to the driver to be cautious when parking.

One of the aces for Peugeot in the 407 range is the Five Star Euro NCAP safety rating – the highest available score. Eight airbags are fitted to the 407; driver and passenger front airbags, front and rear side airbags and full length curtain airbags are standard across the whole 407 range. ABS braking with electronic brake force distribution as well as electronic stability control is standard. The seat belts have pre-tensioners and force limiters fitted.

The head rests have an active function built in to reduce whiplash in the event of a collision. Under emergency braking situations the hazard lights are activated.

Build quality finish

The build quality on the 407 tested was excellent; paint finish was equal to any vehicles in the luxury class tested recently. Detail touches like the cut out in the fuel filler cap and boot release in the rear lettering adds to the overall impression that the 407 is a very classy vehicle. Leather trim on the seats and doors further enhance the classy, luxury feel – the attention to detail once again is top class.

The 407 comes standard with remote central locking, a rolling code immobiliser, a lockable glove box and an automatic boot lock that is activated once the vehicle is underway. The 407 receives a security rating of 63 out of 120 which is average for the luxury class.

Peugeot 407

On the road

Performance

The two litre turbocharged diesel is a double overhead cam, 16 valve design that sounds like a modern hi tech petrol engine in its specification. It develops 100 kW of power at 4,000 and 320 Nm of torque at just 2000 rpm. The V6 engine in 407 SV developed 290 Nm of torque so with the diesels 320Nm at 2,000 it promised to deliver similar performance levels.

The 0 to 400 metre dash was slower by 1.4 seconds compared to the three litre SV tested earlier however, the 50 to 80km/h and 60 to 100km/h passing tests were almost identical in time to the three litre version.

Around town the 407 HDi provides a quiet refined driving experience, with little discernable evidence of it being powered by a diesel engine. Forget about starting off in second gear – this is no old fashioned diesel that lumbers along. It likes to be revved through the gears just like a conventional petrol engine.

Cruising on the open road is where this 407 shines. I was initially reluctant to dive out and overtake as you would with a conventionally powered vehicle, but with 320 Nm of torque available from 2,000 rpm, there was no need to worry. The excellent two litre turbocharged engine provided plenty of power all the way to its 5,000 rpm limit.

The 407 HDi misses out on the nine setting variable electronic suspension used on the three litre SV. It utilises a conventional damper setup and this change has resulted in the ride being a little firmer than the SV.

Passengers will still have a comfortable journey as the firmness doesn’t compromise the ride quality thanks in part to the comfortable front and rear seats and generous leg room.

Handling steering

The 407 uses double wishbone arms on the front suspension and the rear is a multi arm design. Both front and rear designs incorporate a number of alloy components into the design to reduce weight. On test the 407 HDi proved to be a competent performer and felt more consistent through a range of corners than the electronically aided SV tested earlier.

Steering is a variable hydraulic design and around town it’s nicely weighted – light enough to make parking easy whilst still providing good feedback to the driver on the open road.

Braking is handled by ventilated front discs and solid rear discs. ABS is standard on all models. Emergency Brake Assist provides additional braking power in emergency situations.

On test the brakes performed well with braking distances comparable to best in class, the pedal feel was progressive and gave a consistent feel.

A lot of people ask whether or not a diesel engined vehicle is noisy especially when considering a luxury car purchase. Luxury vehicles should provide high levels of refinement in terms of noise insulation and in this area the 407 HDi certainly doesn’t disappoint. Measured cabin noise levels were slightly higher than the V6 petrol powered 407, but the test conditions weren’t ideal as the track conditions were wet and wet conditions can increase readings.

Peugeot 407
Peugeot 407
Peugeot 407
Peugeot 407
Peugeot 407
Peugeot 407
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